RR80: Tail of the Dragon

In April 2022, the kids were off from school for Spring Break and we decided to take a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We had never been to North Carolina or Tennessee before and we really enjoyed the vacation there. The roads in and around the park are truly spectacular and I can see why it is such a motorcycle riding hot spot. On the final day of our trip, I rented a 2014 Honda Valkyrie from Wolf Creek Rentals in Townsend, NC.

I picked up the bike from the rental place in the morning while it was still pretty cold. They rented me a jacket, gloves and a helmet. I took some awesome roads there – Foothills Pkwy over to Happy Valley Rd and then finally US 129 “Tail of the Dragon”.

The dragon itself is a decent road, but not very different from Hwy 9 or the local roads in the Bay Area. The turns are relatively tight and the riding is pretty slow. I rode with Anushka behind me for about half of it, and then switched with Valmik for the rest of the dragon. They both enjoyed the ride tremendously, which was a little spirited for them.

I took a brief stop at the Dragon Resort, looked around the Tree of Shame, took a few pics and moved on. There wasn’t much of a crowd, it was still early in the morning and relatively cool. From there we rode down to the Historic Tapoco Lodge Resort and had lunch.

Shruti and the kids were tired with the winding roads there, so I decided to ride on towards Cherohala Skyway. I took Joyce Kilmer Road to Cherohala, stopped there for a few pics and chatted with a couple of riders from Ohio. I then road a few miles out on Cherohala and back tracked my way to the restaurant. I enjoyed Cherohala Skyway the most – it’s a great free flowing road with nice high speed sweepers. There were gradual elevation changes, excellent pavement and superb views – what more could one ask for? I was tailing a few ZX14 riders on the Skyway and it was a lot of fun. I could ride there for days on end.

I loved the Honda Valkyrie. I’ve been interested in a Valkyrie for a while now, ridden the older one many times. It has a lot of power – the goldwing engine makes more torque than a Busa. With five gears only, the last gear is a true overdrive. The bike has a super smooth engine with no buzz or vibrations anywhere. It also handles great, for being a cruiser. It’ll scrape pegs if you ride aggressively but for the most part it turns very well. It hides it’s 700lbs weight very well, while not being tiring to ride at all. It was definitely comfortable for the 400 miles I put that day.

The only issue for me really was that I think it needs a slipper clutch. It’s easy to skid the rear wheel when downshifting, and that can get scary on such a big bike. Obviously, the looks are a bit… polarizing… to put it mildly. Used prices are high – compared to a Ducati diavel or Triumph Rocket. Otherwise a fantastic bike, Honda reliability, awesome fit and finish, and best of all – 32,000 mile valve check intervals, only oil changes needed for a long time.

RR79: Tassajara & Chew’s Ridge

On March 25th 2022, Mahesh (Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport) and me (Kawasaki Versys-X 300) rode into the mountains of Carmel Valley towards the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center and Chew’s Ridge.

We started the day by meeting for coffee at Sue’s Gallery Cafe in Saratoga.

We rode up Hwy 9 through the SC mountains all the way down to Santa Cruz. It was quite cold through the mountains and by the time we got to Santa Cruz my fingers were frozen. We stopped for gas near Moss Landing and I swapped bikes with Mahesh till Carmel Valley.

We then started the ride towards Tassajara – the road was mostly hard packed dirt with a few ruts here and there. Nothing very difficult and we made it up to Chew’s ridge quickly.

The gate to the lookout was locked, so we did not ride our bikes up there, but walked the last quarter of a mile. The views from the lookout were amazing. The weather was perfect, and the visibility was great.

From there we rode a few miles towards the Zen center and stopped by a picnic bench for a beer and a sandwich. It was a very peaceful camping spot. We met a forest service ranger there who was laying irrigation lines for the service mules. We had a nice long chat with him.

From there we decided to turn around and head back to the Bay Area. Riding noisy motorcycles down to the Zen meditation center seemed like a bad idea, lol.

We rode on Carmel Valley Road, and then up Hwy 101 through Salinas and it was incredibly windy. The long freeway ride was tiring, but all in all it was fun.

RR78: Carrizo Plain

On Feb 11th and 12th 2022, I went on a ride over the Carrizo Plain. There were 6 riders in all: Andy (Honda Africa Twin), Anil (Honda Africa Twin), Ayon (Honda CRF250L Rally), Gokul (KTM 690 Enduro), Mahesh (Kawasaki KLX230) and me (Kawasaki Versys-X 300). 

We left on a Friday afternoon with Andy, Anil and me riding down. We rode through Uvas Reservoir and Hwy 25 over to Hwy 198 and then on to Parkfield Grade. It was an easy ride, although it was getting a bit hot. Ayon, Mahesh and Gokul got their bikes down in their trucks.

We gassed up in Tres Pinos. Gas prices were high, but nowhere near the highs they became a few months later, after the Russia Ukraine war.

At the end of Hwy 25, Andy briefly lost his balance and dropped his Africa Twin.

 Some nice views climbing Parkfield grade.

Easy off road down the grade to the cafe.

We had a beer each at the cafe, some light food and were on our way to the hotel in Taft, CA. 

This was in the month of February and it got dark pretty soon as we left the cafe. We gassed up at the James Dean themed gas station “Blackwells Corner” at the intersection of Hwy 33 and Hwy 46.

From there it was a straight shot to our hotel in Taft. We reached around 7PM, which gave us ample time to shower and get dinner at the Mexican restaurant, Mi Casita, right next to the hotel.

The ride to Carrizo Plain began the next day, Saturday Feb 12th. We unloaded bikes from Gokuls and Ayons trucks, gassed up and were on our way at about 9AM. The highlight for Gokul was his new Rivian R1T truck that hauled Mahesh’s and his bikes down.

We entered Carrizo through Crocker Springs Road and Hurricane Road. The dirt was hard packed, the temperatures were mild and the ride was perfect.

The descent down Hurricane road was probably the only tough part of the ride, and that was pretty mild too.

We then road Elkhorn Road towards the north which was a very peaceful and meditative ride. The dirt was relatively easy with no challenging obstacles. We were able to maintain a smooth speed through the turns and whoops and we then took a break at the Wallace Creek Trailhead. Here we walked over to the San Andreas fault and took some pictures. 

From there we continued on to San Diego Creek Road and eventually came to Soda Lake.

It was getting hot by now, so we decide to visit the Carrizo Plain National Monument visitor center. We took a break there and had a beer. The visitor center was under construction but it still had some impressive stuff.

We decided to continue on with the ride from here. Andy had to go home early, so he left the group and started his ride home. Just a mile from the visitor center, Anil picked up a huge screw in his rear tire. The screw tore through his tire and tube and left him with a huge flat.

We removed the wheel. I had tire irons and with much effort, we removed the tire and the tube. The tube had a huge hole in it and we tried to patch it with a kit that Gokul had. Impressively none of us has a spare tube!

The patch would not hold air, which was sort of obvious to us all from the beginning. Anyway, at this point we gave up, disappointed, and Ayon called AAA to come rescue the bike. We had spent over 2.5 hours trying to fix the bike and everyone was exhausted. I decided at this point to make it back home instead of continuing with the ride. I was the only “rider” in the group left, the rest were going to haul their bikes back. Mahesh, Gokul and Ayon rode Soda Lake road down south and back to the hotel, I started riding north and took the freeway back home.

The ride back home was easy, but extremely boring. I had lunch at a McDonald’s on the way and made it back home around 7PM, exhausted. Anil was able to get the AAA truck to rescue his bike and drop it off at the hotel. He got a ride with Gokul and Mahesh in the Rivian as they came back to the Bay Area. Anil went down back to Taft the next day with a trailer to retrieve the bike. 

Interestingly Mahesh, Ayon and Gokul went back over the same route that evening in the Rivian and got some excellent pictures. 

This trip did not go as planned, mainly because none of us had spare tubes with us. Andy did have some spare tubes, but he left before the incident. Lesson learnt, I guess, for next time – always carry spare tubes. This trip also demonstrated how people react under pressure and why riding longer trips is a two sided coin – it’s all fun and games when the going is good, but it sucks when there is a snag. 

 

RR77: Bartlett Springs Road

On Jan 17th, 2022, Akshay (KTM 1290 Super Adventure), Gokul (KTM 690 Enduro), Mahesh (Ducati Scrambler 1100) and me (Kawasaki Versys-X 300) rode around the Bartlett Springs, Clear Lake area in the North Bay. The original idea for the route came from this thread on Advrider, and we did the exact same route charting 48 miles off road.

We left Fremont early in the morning and took the freeway to the Starbucks in Fairfield. After a quick coffee, we started riding. Suisun Valley Road and Wooden Valley Road took us to Hwy 121, from where we rode Hwy 128 all the way to Winters. We took the by-roads parallel to 505, over to Hwy 16. We stopped for gas at the Cache Creek Casino, my first time there. Hwy 16 was good fun – nice twisties along the Bear creek. What a unique name for a creek in California.

At Hwy 20, we started our dirt ride, on Bear Valley road, splendid name again. This was a very mild dirt road, almost as easy as riding on the street.

Some nice pics of yours truly, thanks to Gokul.

Mahesh’s Ducati was sporting some bald tires, but he made it through the whole ride without incident.

We turned left from Bear Valley on to Brim road. The road slowly climbs a few hills before it meets Bartlett Springs Road. At the start of this climb, Gokul came in a bit hot from a side trail and crashed him KTM into the mountain side. Thankfully he was OK and the damage to the bike was minimal.

We met Bartlett Springs Road at the top and made our way down to Indian Valley.

The reservoir at Indian Valley was completely dry. We could not see the water line from the road. We took a few breaks along the way and continued the ride down to Clear Lake.

As the road descends into the Clear Lake area, there are some beautiful views to be had.

We had a late lunch, about 4PM, at Romi’s Brew and BBQ. It was by far the worst place I’ve ever eaten at in recent memory, a solid 0 on 5 stars.

The ride back home was uneventful, about 130 miles on the freeway – 101, 580 and 880.

The Versys-X 300 did very well. It inspires a lot of confidence in the dirt, much more so than my KTM 990. It may not have the suspension chops of the Dakar oriented KTM racebike, but it putts along just fine in every terrain without overwhelming the rider with excess weight or power. The nimble handling of the bike in dirt makes it easy to ride smoothly and confidently and ultimately allows me to relax and enjoy the ride. At the same time it works very well in the twisties, and it comfortably stays at 85mph on the freeway. What more can I want? I think we have a winna.

Mileage Check 1/1/2022

KTM 990 Adventure S, now sold:

  • Total miles in 2021: 2,169
  • Sold 12/10/2021, after 9,643 miles since purchase

Ducati Sport Classic 1000S:

  • Miles 12/31/2021: 31,156
  • Bought 1/8/2021 @ 29,586 miles
  • Total miles in 2021: 1,570

Kawasaki W650:

  • Miles 12/31/2021: 9,759
  • Bought 7/24/2021 @ 7,720 miles
  • Total miles in 2021: 2,039

Kawasaki Versys-X 300:

  • Miles 12/31/2021: 355
  • Bought 12/24/2021 @ 261 miles
  • Total miles in 2021: 94

Total miles in 2021: 5,872

RR76: O’Shaughnessy dam

On the 19th of November 2021, Ayon (BMW R1200GS), Mahesh (BMW S1000XR) and me (Kawasaki W650) rode to the O’Shaughnessy dam in Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite is only about 3 hour from the Bay Area and we’ve been there every year since 2001. We truly enjoy that park every time we go and have visited almost all parts of the park – the Valley, the Tuolumne meadows, Tioga pass, Glacier Point, etc. One place I had never visited was the O’Shaughnessy dam.

The road to the dam is a separate route off the main roads that lead to the park. We left the Bay Area early in the morning. I met Ayon at the Shell gas station in Fremont, and Mahesh caught up with us in Escalon.

We first stopped at the entrance sign to the park and took a few pictures

From there, the ride to the dam was fairly straightforward. The road is incredibly scenic and the late Fall weather made it even more beautiful.

The dam itself and the surrounding area is incredibly beautiful!

We hiked through the tunnel on the far side of the dam.

On our way back we took Cherry Lake Road back to Hwy 120. It was a short and sweet ride, we made it back before it got too dark. I actually came off so impressed with this area that I went back there a few days later with the kids to hike to the Wapama Falls. Simply beautiful!

 

 

RR75: Skaggs Road

On October 3rd, 2021, Akshay (KTM 1290 Super Adventure), Ayon (KTM 1290 SuperDuke) and me (Kawasaki W650) rode some of the roads in the North Bay, including Stewarts Point-Skaggs Springs Rd and Hwy 128. This was my first long ride on the W650 and I was apprehensive of mechanical breakdowns and problems.

We left Fremont early Sunday morning (after a hour delay by Ayon) and our first gas stop was at the Chevron in San Rafael. We exited Hwy 101 on Dry Creek Road in Healdsburg and rode over to Skaggs. The first part of Skaggs was amazing, superbly banked curves, great tarmac quality and no real traffic. About 10 miles in, Skaggs turns into a single lane bumpy, goaty, road. This was fun too, but not as much as those nice sweepers. There was a short section of construction along the way where the road turned to dirt, and the W handled it with ease. After the bridge, we stopped and took some pictures.

Skaggs ends in Hwy 1, and from there we rode up to Gualala. We got gas, and had lunch at Trinks Cafe. The (veggie) burger was very average but I was happy to sip on some Boont Amber Ale.

From there we rode up Hwy 1 and then took Hwy 128 back to 101. The Pacific side of Hwy 128 is definitely one of my favorite roads – I first rode it in 2014, RR34.

We gassed up again in Booneville and made the long freeway struggle back home. It was very hot and the long freeway drone made me tired. Anyway, the W650 did very well. Not a hiccup there and I loved how easy and comfortable it is to ride. It has enough power to be entertaining, and I ran it to 105 mph on a long flat top-speed run. Overall it did the twisties and the freeways just fine. The only limitation on that bike is the tank range. The bike “comes on reserve” at 100-115 miles and I probably have another 30 miles after that. So a conservative tank range of 140 miles, is really the only limiting factor.

Ten year anniversary

July 12th 2021 marks ten years since I bought my first motorcycle in the US, my trusty old DR650. So this blog is now 10 years old, has over 100 posts and gets about 1500 unique visitors (and 5000 views) per year. I started this blog because I wanted to document my journey through motorcycles and have this diary of motorcycling experiences that I can look back on when I’m older. So far these motorcycles have offered a fun, exciting and satisfying journey and I consider myself lucky to be able to enjoy this sport.

I’ve had 9 motos over the last 10 years, sold 7 and still have 2.

    • 2005 Suzuki DR650SE
    • 2002 Suzuki SV650
    • 2003 Kawasaki ZZR1200
    • 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 1000
    • 2004 Kawasaki ZRX1200R
    • 2011 Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa
    • 2015 KTM 1290 Super Duke R
    • 2008 KTM 990 Adventure S
    • 2007 Ducati SportClassic 1000S

I made many great friends through motorcycling, some old and some young. I probably logged about 60,000 miles over these 10 years. I started out riding slow and became faster as I gained confidence. As I crossed the age of 40, I have started slowing down now, riding more for the experience rather than the thrill of speed. I rode street, track and adv, but did not enjoy the track… Enjoyed adv & dirt tremendously.

Favorite bike (street)? The Hayabusa

Favorite bike (adv)? The KTM 990 Adv S

Best looking bike? The Ducati SportClassic

Best sounding bike? Tie between the Super Duke and the SportClassic

Fastest bike? The Super Duke

Slowest bike? The DR650

Least favorite bike? The Ninja 1000, lol

Favorite brand? KTM

Favorite piece of gear? The Aerostich Roadcrafter suit

Favorite ride (street)? The 2011 trip to Nevada

Favorite ride (adv)? The Lost Coast Adventure

Favorite road? Just too many to choose from, but if I had to pick only one: Wentworth Springs Road. Followed closely by Quincy La Porte, Hwy 49, Mosquito Ridge Road, Hwy 26, Hwy 108 and Hwy 36

Favorite beer? Pliny the Elder, any time I ride in the North Bay

Motorcycling also developed my skills as a amatuer mechanic. Between a dozen or so oil changes, several fork rebuilds, carb rebuilds, many valve adjustments and brake jobs, and helping my buddies with their motorcycle maintenance, I became a decent mechanic.

I crashed on the street once, on Ayon’s VMax on Calaveras Rd, where I braked too hard, the rear wheel locked up and the bike slid. As the bike came to a stop, it tipped over. Thankfully both the bike and me came out without a scratch. In the dirt, I did crash a couple of times on the DR650 and KTM 990, but both were again slow speed falls in soft dirt, and thankfully no damage to me or the bikes.

I’ve also had several close calls. On Day 1 of the 2014 annual trip, I almost lost the front end on my SV650 on Hwy 1. The road between Rockport and Leggett is excellent, and I was pushing the bike hard. At the mountain ridge the road crests and takes a sharp left. I came in too hot there and braked hard almost losing the front end. I was able to recover, but rode the rest of the ride with caution. On the 2021 Sierra Passes ride, I got into a pickle trying to pass a long line of slow cars, as one guy in a car didn’t notice me and jumped into the passing lane almost taking me out. I was able to avoid him, though narrowly by only a few feet. Surprisingly he didn’t back off even after he noticed me, he just kept going as if nothing happened. I’ve tried to learn as much as I can from these close calls, never coming in too hot into a turn, let alone a blind turn, passing other cars and bikes with extreme caution, and in general, passing cars only when truly necessary.

So what’s next? The thirst for speed is gone. I only ride to meet friends, get some fresh air or explore a new place. I’m in no hurry now and I have no motivation to “take the corner” as fast as possible. I much enjoy a relaxed paced. Also the quest for a different bike every year is gone. I like the 990 and I’m enjoying the adventure riding experience. I will keep it for a long time as long as it’s running.

Onwards and upwards then, to more rides and more experiences. I’m grateful for everything.

 

 

 

RR74: Frolicking in the Forest

On the heels of the failed Death Valley trip, I was itching for some dirt adv action on my KTM 990. Adv riding offers a chance of exploring roads and areas that are, literally, off the beaten path. I’ve ridden pretty much all the “motorcycling roads” in California, but I’ve not explored the off-pavement part much. Vijay noticed this thread on AdvRider – Forest Frolicking in Northern California and and that was the impetus for this trip. I know the word “frolic”, but I’m not sure if the present participle froliciking contains a “k”. I won’t Google it though, lol.

Shobhit’s VStrom was broken with a failed clutch from Death Valley. Akshay and I worked on the bike and successfully replaced the clutch. I rode the bike on a 450 mile ride across the Sierras, and everything was good. So with a working bike now, Shobhit decided to join the ride. Akshay could not make it unfortunately, for good reason, his wife was turning xx and he wanted to throw her a surprise birthday bash. Mahesh could not join, his daughter was having surgery, and a few others dropped out, so eventually it was 6 of us – Anil (Kawasaki Versys 650), Ayon (Honda CRF250L Rally), Gokul (KTM 690 Enduro), Shobhit (Suzuki V-Strom 650), Sujit (KTM 990 Adventure) and Vijay (BMW R1200GS)

Friday July 9th 2021

In the second week of July, there was a heat wave in California. Temperatures in Fremont were in the high 90s, while Sacramento and the central valley were up to about 110F. We had a quick video call the night before and discussed whether it makes sense to cancel the ride. With everyone’s tight schedules and limited time, it would be hard to reschedule the ride – so we decided to just go. Shobhit flew in on Friday, went over to his sisters house for some time and came to my house in the late afternoon. He brought with him a pelican case that we bolted to the back of his VStrom. Here was the final outcome, the box came in handy for the trip.

We left the Bay Area with Ayon and Anil at about 4PM. It was incredibly hot along the way and we all wore mesh gear. We stayed away from the freeways for the most part, as Ayon was on his 250. He did fairly well though, keeping up with all of us in the twisty parts.

We stopped briefly at a small town called Buena Vista, CA. Here we bought cold water bottles and poured some of that water down our mesh gear to keep us cool. It was incredibly hot at that point, but we all made it ok that day.

We reached our hotel in Grass Valley (Best Western Gold Country Inn) at about 8PM and met with Vijay for dinner and drinks.  The beers at 1849 Brewing Company were good, and so was the pizza. Gokul trailered his KTM and joined us later at the hotel that night.

Saturday July 10th 2021

This was the planned route for the day, and we did about 75% of it.

We left early that day, gassed up near the hotel and hit Hwy 20 towards Tahoe. We filled up Shobhit’s top box with beer and ice, the smile says it all.

Our first turn off from the highway was on to Washington Road, which took us down to the quaint little town of Washington, CA. Gokul was last in the line of riders and we had to wait a good 10 minutes there for him to catch up. It turns out that he was riding slow because he thought “chunks” could fly off his knobby tires on the pavement 🙂 We picked up some sandwiches from the General Store there and were on our way.

The first dirt section of the day was Gaston Road which goes through the very small town of Gaston. I don’t think we even noticed that place on our way. The road was a mix of hard packed dirt, some loose gravel and some patches of deep sand. It was a good challenge for us all, and we made it down the first 10 miles or so without incident.

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As we continued on to Meadow Lake Road, the road became more rocky and soon we got views of Bowman Lake

As we descended to Bowman Lake the road became very rough and rocky and we were riding this challenging terrain very slowly. Luckily we made it to the Lake without incident, where we took a break and dipped in the lake. It wasn’t very hot here because of the elevation. It was warm but comfortable and the dip in the lake felt really good.

I enjoyed sipping a Sierra Nevada hazy IPA in those waters. Pure bliss. The amazing forest and the beautiful lake were great stress busters.

As we started on our way out, the terrain remained pretty challenging till Jackson Meadows Reservoir. We were now about 40 miles into the dirt, and post lunch we were all getting tired quickly. We took several breaks along the way, hydrating with water, making sure the bikes were ok, and just taking a break in the shade.

On Meadow Lake Road, Ayon and Shobhit were leading, and they decided to make a right turn towards Meadow Lake. Next I saw Anil and Vijay ahead of me ride straight towards French Meadows. For a minute I panicked there, thinking that if the group splits up and someone gets lost, it could get dangerous quickly. Most of these forest roads are unmarked and look pretty similar, it’s easy to get lost. Luckily, Ayon and Shobhit retraced their steps and joined us back a short distance down the road.

Vijay had the heaviest bike of the group and he was definitely struggling. Thankfully he was able to manage it over the rough stuff and we made it to the French Meadows Reservoir. When we hit the tarmac there, we all let out a huge sigh of relief.

As we left French Meadows Vijay noticed a tire pressure warning on his BMW dash. He had a flat rear tire. He was able to ride the bike on the pavement to Hwy 89, where we took a break and fixed the flat. The heat was on at this point and we were all tired, with ~60 odd miles of off road work.

At this point, we were debating whether we should ride more dirt, or simply head back to the hotel. It was only about 3PM, so we had time, and we decided to explore a bit more.

We headed down Dog Valley Road, which turned out to be the best road of the day. Gentle flowing curves in easy hard packed dirt. A few whoops along the way, but easy stuff to handle. We all go comfortable riding this patch at higher speeds and enjoyed the views tremendously. We took another stop here to look at Vijay’s tire. It was slowing losing a bit of air, so we pumped it up again.

From Dog Valley Road we took Smithneck Road back to Hwy 49. Again this was easy stuff, scenic and very relaxing.

We hit pavement a bit before Hwy 49 and took a break.

From here we decide to gas up in Loyalton and make our way to our hotel for the night (Gold Pan Lodge in Quincy). Gokul left the group here. He rode back to the hotel in Grass Valley, where he loaded his bike on to his SUV and headed home.

The huge plume of smoke from the Beckwourth Complex fires was visible. And the road to Frenchman lake was closed. We saw lots of firefighting equipment on the way, including helicopters, airplanes and firetrucks.

We made it to our hotel in good time, like 6PM, so that gave us enough time to wind down from the hot and tiring day. We had a few beers at Quintopia Brewing – they were pretty good.

The garlic fries were 10/10

Sunday July 11th 2021

The last day of our trip we decided to skip any dirt section and take the twisty road home. Vijay’s tire was looking weak and none of us really had the energy to tackle another day in the dirt.

Anil had broken his Versys-650 front fender the day before and his rim was also bent. So it was probably a good idea to skip the tough dirt sections.

Ayon picked up coffee at Morning Thunder Cafe and we were on our way.

I had heard of Quincy La Porte Road for many years, but never ridden it. We came close to riding it in 2020, but the fires blocked us out. So this time when we did get a chance, I was blown away. Superbly laid tarmac, excellent curves, great views and no traffic. We stopped along the way a few times to take some pictures.

Remnants of the Bear Fire of 2020

Along the way, we took a short detour to the Little Grass Valley Reservoir. It was short dirt section of 5 miles, but it took us to this dramatically beautiful lake.

The rest of Quincy La Porte was also excellent and we all had a great time riding down the mountains on that road. Note to self – it’s well worth a trip up there just to ride QLP again!

We had lunch at Punjab Tandoori Grill in Yuba City. The Indian food there was simply amazing (it was highly rated on Yelp) and the owner of the restaurant turned on the TV to the Euro Cup final between England and Italy.

It was 100F+ outside, so after the delicious Indian food and beer we took the freeway back to the Bay Area. We made it, again, in good time, with enough daylight to spare.

Shobhit flew back to Seattle the same night. All our bikes were ok, no major mechanical failures. None of us crashed or hurt ourselves, so it all turned out great. I really liked riding in the Tahoe National Forest and the Plumas National Forest. I would like to go up there again!